February 28, 2019
Maine East, Maine South and Maine West Fine Arts Students Recognized at the State Level

Maine East, Maine South and Maine West High Schools recently had students recognized at the state level for their outstanding achievement in music, drama, and visual arts.

Maine East and Maine South students were selected among hundreds of students to participate in the All-State Theatre production of “In the Heights” in Champaign-Urbana. Students can apply and audition for acting roles, crew positions and to perform in the pit orchestra for the production.

At Maine East, Drama Teacher Karen Hall was a producer; Avani Shah was on the stage crew for audio; Director of Bands Pam Holt was the pit orchestra conductor; Kevin Opena was a keyboard player in the pit; Oliver Talukder as a flute/alto-tenor saxophone player in the pit.

At Maine South,Tymon Duchnicki was a clarinet player in the pit and Melanie Parangalan was on the stage crew for scenery, set building and paint.

Students audition in the summer and begin rehearsal immediately in the fall. Students spent entire weekends monthly in rehearsals to prepare for the production with others that were selected from across the state.

Maine West was one of just a select number of schools in the state to perform a show at the festival and performed Peter and the Starcatcher.  The show was directed by Fine Arts Teacher David Harmon, Theatre Technician Peter McManus built the set and Costumer Kate Murphy costumed the show. The show which featured 30 Maine West students in the cast and crew.  They performed for more than 500 attendees.

Maine East Fine Arts Teacher Phillip Ash, along with Maine South Fine Arts Teacher Mason Strom led a workshop titled “Acting for the Camera” that was attended by students from throughout Illinois.

In addition Grace Dziedzic, Kaylee Hayden and Logan Jawgiel represented the Maine South Music Department In the Illinois Music Education Conference (IMEC) in Peoria recently.  Maine East was represented by Oliver Talukder. Maine West was represented in the Choirs by Seniors Phoebe Kohl and Ryan Spero. These students auditioned along with students across the state to qualify for the District #7 festival ensembles. Since their scores placed high enough, they qualified to perform at the state level.  Logan played bassoon and Oliver played oboe in the Honors All-State Band, while Kaylee and Grace placed in the All-State Choir.

At Maine South, Lydia Cruz was just notified by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) that her poster won the Illinois Arts Education and ISBE 37th Annual poster design contest. In celebration of Illinois Arts Education Week, March 11-17, 2019, Lydia will have her art enlarged and hung at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum for an entire year. A poster will feature Lydia’s artwork, as well as additional information, and will be sent to all public and private schools sharing the importance of arts in education to all students.